I AM happy to report that our poorly goose has continued her miraculous recovery, earning herself, and our other goose, a reprieve.

For a few days she was distinctly tottery. John and I were forever picking her back up from where she had keeled over and setting her back on her feet again. But gradually she regained her balance, groomed her feathers and rejoined the mad scramble for burnt toast, vegetable peeling, bruised fruit and leftovers that I throw into the paddock on a regular basis.

Life seems to have contracted during this second lockdown. I appreciate how lucky we are with so much space at home and access to open fields to take the dogs out.

The dogs’ walks seem to be taking up more time during the day as the hours of lightness shorten. For such a strange year, time seems to have whipped by.

Darkness offers all sort of opportunities though to night time visitors. Our neighbour in the barn conversion has installed a security camera in their drive, which also covers part of our home paddock. From the paw prints around the duck pen, we thought there had been a fox checking out if there were gaps in the defences. Now their camera filmed the opportunist assassin confidently trotting across the road from a neighbouring field and squeezing under the fence. Bad news for the fox now his approach route is known.

The dogs are keenly aware that a vulpine visitor has been. As is our house guest, a Labrador who we have taken in while her owner, a friend, is too poorly to care for her.

She is a lovely dog. Very affectionate to me. Not so affectionate, however, to Fizz, our sheepdog, who has a wary relationship with Moss, the spaniel, and a general air of indifference to Millie the Jack Russell. Also, and more worryingly, she does not like visitors.

It is difficult. I would love to offer her a permanent home as I feel she may become too much for my friend to care for if his illness gets worse. But I do not think I could trust her with our grandchildren and I am permanently on edge in case, as happens, someone walks in through the gate when she is out in the yard. Plus, I do not like seeing Fizz looking so anxious all the time.

As I write this our guest is laid across my feet gently snoring, the picture of tranquillity. Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.